Bill Conlin, master of foresight that he is (he’s still using 1993 as proof of his talents), is predicting the Phillies will win 88 games in 2008.
“You’re on your own for the rest.”
He also has this mock headline to throw out there:
“Howard Blasts No. 60 as Phils Clinch 3rd Place”
Conlin cited the Phils’ lack of a fifth starter (and potential troubles at No. 3 and 4) and lack of bullpen depth as reasons for 88 in the year of Jimmy Rollins’ prediction of 100 wins.
Can I disagree? No. But I can make the case that Conlin is underestimating the club just a bit. I do feel they upgraded the pitching (just a little) from the end of 2007. They added Brad Lidge and subtracted Kyle Lohse. That’s a victory. They’ve added Travis Blackley and Chad Durbin and subtracted Jose Mesa and Antonio Alfonseca. Right now, that’s a victory.
I wouldn’t go too far over 88, mainly because Blackley, Durbin and Lidge aren’t exactly favor tilters. But I could give the team 92, maybe 93 wins. It’s imperative they get off to a hot start, however, and we can only hope that’s the case.